Pesto Alla Genovese, also known simply as pesto, is a traditional sauce from the Liguria region of Italy. It is made from a blend of basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. This flavorful sauce is traditionally served over pasta but can also be used as a marinade or spread. In this article, we will dive deeper into the history, origin, and preparation of pesto alla Genovese, as well as where to find the best pesto dishes in Italy.
History and Origin of Pesto Alla Genovese
Pesto Alla Genovese has a long history dating back to the Roman Empire. The name “pesto” comes from the Genoese word “pestâ,” which means to pound or crush. The traditional method of making pesto is to pound the ingredients together in a mortar and pestle, which is how the sauce gets its name. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that pesto became popular in Liguria and quickly became a staple of Genoese cuisine.
Ingredients Used in Pesto alla Genovese
The main ingredients in pesto Alla Genovese are basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. The basil should be fresh and fragrant, the garlic should be peeled and lightly crushed, the pine nuts should be toasted, the Parmesan cheese should be grated, and the olive oil should be extra-virgin. These ingredients are blended in a pestle, mortar, or food processor to make a thick and fragrant paste.
Preparation and How to Serve
Pesto Alla Genovese is traditionally made using a mortar and pestle to grind the ingredients together. This method allows the flavors to blend more evenly and creates a more fragrant sauce. However, it can also be made using a food processor or blender. The sauce should be thick and aromatic, with a bright green color. Pesto is typically served over pasta, such as trofie or trenette, with potatoes, green beans, or spaghetti.
Where to Find Pesto Alla Genovese in Italy
The Liguria region of Italy is the home of pesto Alla Genovese, and it is widely available throughout the region. Some of the best places to find pesto Alla Genovese include:
- Genoa – Pesto is said to have originated in Genoa and is considered the best in the region.
- Cinque Terre – The small towns along the Cinque Terre coastline are known for their pesto dishes.
- Portofino – Pesto is widely available in the seafood restaurants in Portofino
- Santa Margherita Ligure – A coastal town where you can find some of the best pestos in the region.
Pesto Alla Genovese is a special sauce with a long history in Italian cuisine. Its unique blend of flavors, made from fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, makes it a favorite worldwide. The Liguria region of Italy is the home of pesto Alla Genovese, where you can find the best pesto dishes and taste the authentic flavors of Italy. So next time you’re in the region, try some authentic pesto Alla Genovese and discover the delights of this traditional sauce.
External Links: Wikipedia